Saturday, 9 August 2014

Various Artists - " Northern Lights, Issue One" 1981

Hopelessly obscure cassette, referred to as an “Audio Magazine” on the insert. Blessed with previously unavailable live Cabaret Voltaire rarities from the Les Disques du Crepescule era. Can't go wrong there then, one of the most influential bands of all time to start and finish yer magazine promises much.
What follows up “Sluggin' for Jesus”? Only the bard of Leicester himself, Kevin Hewick, reciting some of his poetry in a fine example of a toned down east midlands accent; thats right we (yes, I am from Leicester!) don't have brummie accents you southern dick 'eads.
Then, a revelation, Rire to Laugh (I'm sure there should be a comma after Rire?) made more recordings than the ones featured on the classic “Four Ways Out” compilation. These two tracks sound a lot more hip and competent than previous efforts, which is both a good and bad thing. Rire to Laugh were not wilfully amateurish one trick ponies apparently!?
Malc Smith, he of the Mudhutters, does his best impression of the backing music from “Harry Smiths Anthology of American Folk”. Lo-fi acoustic instrumentals that are just lacking Dock Boggs or Blind Lemon Jefferson to add some Appalachian tales of murder and infidelity to finish 'em off.
Or maybe Malc Smith could have accompanied 'member' of “The Situationist Youth Collective”; and his very 'student entertainments officer' monologue. He drones on about the various acts put on at Plato's Ballroom (Sounds like an episode of Star Trek?), which included the very Great Cabaret Voltaire, who finish off this cassette-zine, with an edited version of theWestern Mantra.
This in turn, reminds me of getting an afternoon off school to go to the Dentist in 1980,but instead I went and bought “The Three Mantras” and went home. I never went to the dentist again and still have a full set of reasonably pearly gnashers. I attribute this good fortune to perhaps thee most influential group of my youth; I thank thee CV.
Just brush your teeth after every meal, and floss regularly; and at the first opportunity get your mercury amalgam fillings removed and replaced. These things are toxic, and 'they' put this shit in the mouths of innocent kids,mostly unnecessarily, to cash in on the old skool NHS. Never trust the advice of a professional!

Track Listing:

A1 Cabaret Voltaire – Sluggin' for Jesus
A2 Kevin Hewick – KH recites and comments
A3 Rire to Laugh – Let the Children play
A4 Rire to Laugh – Silent water
B1 Malc Smith – Happy pig dance
B2 Malc Smith – Lookin' over under yonder
B3 Malc Smith – Mountain Song
B4 The Situationist Youth Collective – monologue
B5 Cabaret Voltaire – Western Mantra (Edit)


Lucy said...

Love this.

Philip Johnson said...

Plato's Ballroom... never went there, but I recall being told that it was put on by a couple, and that one night's acts included one of them nailing the other up inside a coffin onstage. Also they wanted to get Throbbing Gristle to play there, but it never happened.

Jonny Zchivago said...

Mmmmm, sounds like entertainment personified. You can't do that on the stage anymore!